sleep apneaMillions of people — and their partners — suffer from the effects of snoring. Snoring is more  than just an annoyance, it’s often a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition that can potentially lead to serious health issues. The most frequently prescribed treatment for OSA is a CPAP machine, but there are alternatives.

Most people don’t think about seeking help from their dentist for snoring, but Dr. John C. Cranham, a dentist in Chesapeake, VA, can help you sleep better with an alternative treatment in the form of an oral appliance to wear while you’re asleep.

Q: What causes sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is most commonly diagnosed in those with obesity or excess weight and is also frequently seen in those that routinely smoke tobacco and drink alcohol. For these individuals, as their airways relax during sleep, tissue in the throat can collapse, obstructing the airway and restricting airflow to the rest of the body.

The sleeper with OSA can awaken multiple times overnight gasping for air and often wakes up feeling tired, has trouble staying awake during the day, and can have issues with memory and concentration.

Q: Isn’t CPAP therapy used to treat OSA? How Can the Dentist Help With Snoring?

While CPAP therapy is the most commonly prescribed sleep apnea treatment, your dentist can help with snoring using an oral appliance offers a similar result while being less intrusive. Both treatments are designed to keep the airway open during sleep, when the soft tissues in the throat are more relaxed.

However, instead of a constant airflow preventing the airway from becoming blocked during sleep, as is the case with CPAP therapy, the oral appliance is custom-fitted to the patient’s mouth to help the airway remain clear. The appliance repositions the bottom jaw, moving it forward to prevent the soft tissues in the throat from collapsing over the airway. This device is built sturdy enough to withstand bruxism, or teeth grinding, so even nighttime teeth-grinders can benefit from the device.

Q: How comfortable is a sleep apnea oral appliance?

Dr. Cranham consults with his patients individually to examine the mouth and make sure they’re fitted correctly and comfortably. Although the appliance does reposition the jaw, but it’s designed to fit comfortably inside the mouth to disrupt your sleep as little as possible. Most patients report a reduction in snoring and better sleep when using the appliance.

Q: Do I have to see a dentist to get it?

What makes this oral appliance comfortable and effective is that it’s custom- fitted to the individual patient’s mouth. Dr. Cranham will meet with you to discuss your needs, gather precise measurements and your mouth’s specific details, and will work with you to make sure your appliance is as comfortable as possible.

Dental Treatment For Sleep Apnea in Chesapeake, VA

Dr. Cranham and his caring and compassionate staff want to help you get better sleep. Call 757.656.4109 or schedule an appointment online today.

Schedule Appointment Meet Chesapeake VA Dentist, Dr. John Cranham